The RFamide receptor DMSR-1 regulates stress-induced sleep in C. elegans

Michael J. Iannacone, Isabel Beets, Lindsey E. Lopes, Matthew A. Churgin, Christopher Fang-Yen, Matthew D. Nelson, Liliane Schoofs, David M. Raizen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


In response to environments that cause cellular stress, animals engage in sleep behavior that facilitates recovery from the stress. In Caenorhabditis elegans, stress-induced sleep (SIS) is regulated by cytokine activation of the ALA neuron, which releases FLP-13 neuropeptides characterized by an amidated arginine-phenylalanine (RFamide) C-terminus motif. By performing an unbiased genetic screen for mutants that impair the somnogenic effects of FLP-13 neuropeptides, we identified the gene dmsr-1, which encodes a G-protein coupled receptor similar to an insect RFamide receptor. DMSR-1 is activated by FLP-13 peptides in cell culture, is required for SIS in vivo, is expressed non-synaptically in several wake-promoting neurons, and likely couples to a Gi/o heterotrimeric G-protein. Our data expand our understanding of how a single neuroendocrine cell coordinates an organism-wide behavioral response, and suggest that similar signaling principles may function in other organisms to regulate sleep during sickness.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere19837
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 17
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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    Iannacone, M. J., Beets, I., Lopes, L. E., Churgin, M. A., Fang-Yen, C., Nelson, M. D., Schoofs, L., & Raizen, D. M. (2017). The RFamide receptor DMSR-1 regulates stress-induced sleep in C. elegans. eLife, 6, [e19837].